Posts tagged with "church":

In upstate New York, a DMT-inspired psychedelic temple rises

Tucked away on a tree-studded, 40-acre plot just a quarter mile from the Hudson River, one of New York’s most unusual construction projects is underway. The Chapel of Sacred Mirrors (CoSM)—a transdenominational church and registered nonprofit—has been constructing the Entheon: “A place to discover god within.” The three-story windowless art space will be a temple to, among other things, original “visionary art” from the church’s husband-and-wife co-founders, Alex and Allyson Grey. The couple, who have been together since first meeting (and dropping acid) in 1975, previously ran an art space in Manhattan. After closing down their Chelsea outpost in 2009, Alex and Allyson moved upstate, where they have been running their collective and a psychedelic variant of a bed-and-breakfast. Their Wappingers Falls location hosts monthly full-moon festivities, as well as large concerts and events. Placing art at the very center of their faith, the estate already features large-scale architectural artworks, such as the three-story gazebo-temple Altered States made by artist Kate Raudenbush, who describes herself as “New York-based, Burning Man–bred.” Alex Grey is perhaps best known for his hyper-detailed paintings of human bodies set on trippy backgrounds that reveal the figures’ underlying circulatory systems, musculature, and spiritual meridian points through translucent skin. Grey's audience has not been limited to a cult following of the chemically inclined; he exhibited at the New Museum in 1986. For members of CoSM, visionary art is at the center of their cosmology—like pre-iconoclastic medieval clerics, they understand art not just as a gateway to the divine, but as the manifestation of the divine itself. It’s only natural that this artist-pastor couple would need to build a sanctuary for creativity. Selecting a point on their 40-acre plot that aligns with the solar plexus of a projected goddess, “the kabbalistic sephirot of justice,” CoSM has begun converting a former carriage house into a three-level, 12,000-square-foot concrete structure replete with modern amenities, including an ADA-compliant elevator. As with the foundation of the Greys’ relationship and their church, psychedelics and entactogens play a central role in the eccentric design of the Entheon. It was, in fact, a (then legal) shared MDMA experience that showed the Greys they should not sell their work, but rather build a chapel to share it with a “worldwide love tribe.” Though currently a bare concrete structure, there are big plans for the Entheon. Highly detailed renderings by Ryan Tottle (an Academy Award-winning animator who has worked on major films such as Disney’s Frozen) promise an architecturally complex and spiritually rich exterior. The proposed building is a veritable mythological bestiary. Four-faced ancient-Egypt-inspired “Soulbirds” guard one door. Another door features a design that returns Adam and Eve to the Garden of Eden. Winged “Angels of the Creative Imagination” punctuate the facade, interspersed between the larger “Godheads” that comprise the bulk of the outer walls. These Godheads “bear symbols of different world-wisdom traditions above each Cosmic Eye.” “DNA dragons” rise up from the corners of the roof to its center—liquid and vibrating creatures whose sides are a continuous double helix, a form that, according to a likely false urban legend, was discovered by British molecular biologist Francis Crick under the influence of LSD. Allyson’s “secret writing,” a script using a 20-letter unpronounceable alphabet, will run the upper edge of the Entheon and be guarded by sculpted “Angels of the Four Directions.” And these are just some of the building’s creatures and spiritual guardians. The roof—trypophobes beware—is a concentric array of eyes; called “Collective Vision,” the imagery inspired by a DMT experience of Alex’s that Allyson had the insight to suggest as a roof pattern, a “canopy of consciousness.” As a free e-book on the Entheon points out, “Collective Vision” is a visual motif that has appeared in the graphics and on the stage sets of “America’s number one cult band, Tool.” The collective hopes to use cast concrete, 3-D printing, and other technologies to realize this energetic facade. The three-level interior of the Entheon is intended to be equally elaborate. Through the ornate gold doors there will be, among other spaces, a Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, with its Gothic-style arches; the All One gallery; a museum shop; and a reliquary room featuring the spectacles of the first person to both synthesize and take LSD, Swiss scientist Albert Hoffman, and the ashes of the legendary Harvard professor and psychedelic evangelist Timothy Leary. Leary’s famous Millbrook mansion, the site of so much psychonautic exploration, is just over 20 miles away from CoSM’s own estate. Fundraising for the Entheon continues. The first cycle of fundraising began in 2013 (plans to build began around 2012). According to its website, the church has raised $2.3 million so far. For devotees, the Entheon is the logical next step in their faith of art and love. As Alex told Mushroom Magazine in July 2015, “We believe the inevitable consequence of love is the building of temples.”

Landmarks approves changes to Manhattan’s Trinity Church

Today the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) approved a major revamp of Trinity Church, the storied Manhattan house of worship where Alexander Hamilton is buried.

The parish tapped Murphy Burnham & Buttrick (MBB) to lead the renovations. In addition to interior repairs, the New York firm plans to add wheelchair-accessible ramps around the perimeter of the building and install a low canopy on the church's south side to shelter its weekly processions from the elements. Unlike many New York–area churches that struggle with declining attendance, Trinity is thriving. The Episcopal congregation attracts around 400 people on a typical Sunday, said Trinity Church Vicar Philip Jackson. The goal of the renovation is to enhance the experience of worship, address deferred maintenance, and make the church and property accessible via an ADA-compliant path around the perimeter. Parishioners, many who live in Battery Park City, Tribeca, and the Financial District, the church's home neighborhood, participate in a formal Episcopal service. Jackson explained that a hallmark of Sundays at Trinity Sunday is the long procession that winds from the outside into the main hall. To protect the priests and worshipers walking outside from inclement weather, the church asked MBB to construct a glass-and-painted-steel canopy along the lower portion of the windows on the original building's south terrace and along the Manning Wing, a 1966 addition. The area will also be re-paved in bluestone (PDF). “We designed an awning as minimal and deferential to existing architecture as possible,” said MBB Founding Partner Jeffrey Murphy.

The parish is almost as old as New York itself. Trinity was founded over 300 years ago, and the church moved into its current quarters in 1846. The original structure, at 75 Broadway, was designed by Richard Upjohn in the Gothic Revival style and landmarked in 1966. Three subsequent additions, the latest from the same year as the landmarking, honored the original design, but the interior hasn't undergone a major renovation since the mid-1940s.

Inside, MBB will replace deteriorating stained glass, and restore doors and masonry that are aging poorly. The firm, which is known for its sensitive renovations of historic structures, completed a top-to-bottom restoration of James Renwick's St. Patrick's Cathedral in 2015. Although Trinity Church is first and foremost a house of worship, it is also a major tourist destination. Visitors have always stopped by to pay respects to permanent resident Alexander Hamilton, but the founding father's gravesite has become even more popular since Lin Manuel Miranda's Broadway musical Hamilton debuted. To legitimize the cemetery's well-worn desire paths and accommodate an influx of visitors, the team is improving the graveyard's walkways in accordance with an LPC-approved landscape master plan. The architects are also working with an archeologist before breaking ground to scope the graves in the yard and the markers around the church, and any stones that need to be moved will be re-instated before the site project re-opens to the public. On the west side, MBB will expand the terrace's loggia by one bay so people can be shielded from the elements, and it will add a paved plaza, pictured above at right. The team will also remove fencing around the site, and retool the lighting scheme to highlight the church's signature brownstone buttresses. "In general it’s a really thoughtful, well-done proposal. All the details are really well-thought through and totally appropriate," said LPC Commissioner Michael Goldblum. Preservation advocacy group Historic Districts Council (HDC) mostly agreed, but thought MBB and Trinity could refine the design of the canopy and western terrace. "It is not clear from the submitted drawings why there is a programmatic need for an awning that will run the length of the entire facade of the sanctuary," said HDC's Patrick Waldo. "The canopy competes with and obscures [the buttresses] and the design appears as a modernist expression which HDC feels does not fit beside an ecclesiastical structure." The second speaker, Christabel Gough, of the preservation group Society for the Architecture of the City, agreed, and added that the paved western plaza was "fitted out exactly like a corporate plaza made to obtain a zoning bonus." After a short discussion, the LPC approved MBB and Trinity's proposal with modifications. The team will have to work with staff to rethink the design of the canopy, paving, and landscape.

A rare Art Moderne church in Chicago is slated for renovation

Faced with a declining congregation, Chicago’s First Church of Deliverance had fallen into a cycle of deferred maintenance. Luckily, on January 11, the Chicago Department of Planning and Development announced a $228,000 grant from the Adopt-a-Landmark fund to renovate the historic structure. In exchange for zoning bonuses, Chicago-based developers provide funding for the Adopt-a-Landmark program. Located in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood, the First Church of Deliverance was designed by Walter T. Bailey in 1939, and has been a Chicago landmark since 1994. Bailey, Illinois’ first licensed African-American architect, redesigned the church in the Streamline Moderne style with sweeping curves, smooth finishes, strict horizontality, and the use of glass-block windows. It is one of the few, if not only, church structures in Chicago designed in this style. According to Southside Weekly, the core of the church came into being in 1929 with the conversion of a defunct hat-lining factory into a house of worship, with Bailey’s work formalizing the building’s use. The twin towers found on the primary elevation were added in 1946, and were colloquially referred to by the congregation as the “Old Testament” and “New Testament.” The renovation will restore Bailey’s terracotta façade, doors, and the church’s interior murals. Chicago-based artist Fred Jones designed the surviving murals located on the church interior. Jones studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, and his work is described by the Commission on Chicago Landmarks as containing a “slightly abstract, neo-romantic vision,” one seeped in the subject matter of the “urban African-American community.” For the last 80 years, the First Church of Deliverance has broadcasted its gospel music, establishing itself as a regional nexus and laboratory for the genre. According to Curbed, the national exposure of the church’s radio program led to the involvement of prestigious African-American musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Dinah Washington and Sallie Martin. The church’s long-standing role in gospel music has certainly benefited from it being one of the first houses of worship in the country to install a Hammond electric organ. As reported by the Chicago Tribune, Frederick J. Nelson Jr., as organist and music director of the First Church of Deliverance, taught organ to hundreds students from the church and surrounding community. Although Southside Weekly reports that the First Church of Deliverance’s congregation is unlikely to grow, the future renovation will cement the building’s place in Chicago’s architectural and social history and insure the aesthetic integrity of the city landmark.

BNIM updates and rebuilds a historic Kansas City church ravaged by fire

Not much was left after a devastating fire ravaged the Westport Presbyterian Church, in Kansas City, Missouri, in 2011. Originally built in 1905, the church saw its roof structure, interior structure, and all interior finishes destroyed. All that remained undamaged was the exterior limestone wall. This is where Kansas City–based BNIM began on what was to become a complete transformation of the neighborhood icon. Westport Presbyterian Church is located in one of Kansas City’s oldest historic neighborhoods, surrounded by streets lined with vibrantly painted bungalows and cottages. The lively neighborhood was originally the westernmost trading outpost in the region, serving pioneers venturing on the California, Santa Fe, and Oregon Trails, which all converged in Kansas City. By the time the church was built, the area had recently been annexed into the city, which was itself booming thanks to the railroad. The congregation dates to 1835, and the building has been in the same location since just after the Civil War. Yet even before the fire, the church was working to change its relationship with the surrounding community. “They had already started a process of rethinking what their church would be in the changing culture of Westport,” Erik Heitman, project architect at BNIM, said. “They wanted to re-envision what they were, and how they could serve the community. They not only had to re-envision what their congregation was, but what was the building that serves that mission. They never thought they would rebuild it as it was. This was a chance to reinvent themselves.” Rather than attempt to return the church to its original design, BNIM worked with the church staff to rethink how the community could use the building. A 1916 addition damaged beyond repair would be replaced by a new structure that included a bright public-facing storefront. A welcoming entrance directly on the street, and its interior space, are now available to local groups. The new construction would also provide space for creating and displaying art by one of the church’s own outreach organizations. Thinking about the outward connection to the community, the exterior space was redesigned to provide places to gather adjacent to corresponding interiors. While adding new functional spaces to the church updated the building’s use and presence in the neighborhood, it would be the restoration of the sacred spaces that would present the greatest challenges. It took firefighters over 13 hours to extinguish the fire, leaving the building either burned beyond recognition or destroyed by water. The original sanctuary, chapel, second floor, and basement would all have to be completely rebuilt. Yet, elements of the building were salvaged. Heitman described it as “a new sanctuary delicately placed into the original stone walls.” After a careful restoration, the stained-glass windows were reinstalled in the nave, this time at the parishioner’s eye level. Unable to be used structurally, 40,000 linear feet of the original wood framing was captured for interior finishes as well. Ironically, one of the new design elements of the sanctuary found its genesis in the temporary space the congregation used after the fire. While only limited natural light was allowed into the original sanctuary through stained glass, the temporary rental space was washed with natural light through clear vision glass. Wanting to include and improve this effect, a ribbon clerestory was added, encircling the entire sanctuary. Effectively filling the space with dramatic natural light, the clerestory also hints at the relationship between the new walls and the now-visible original stonewalls. While the destruction of a historic building is never a good thing, the long-standing congregation found a way to use it to their advantage. With a vision of what its congregation could be, and help from BNIM, the Westport Presbyterian Church was able to realize a more open and inviting presence in one of Kansas City’s most dynamic neighborhoods.

The iconic Saint Boniface Church on Chicago’s Near North Side narrowly avoids the wrecking ball

One hundred and fourteen years to the month after the cornerstone of Saint Boniface Church was laid, the building was saved from the wrecking ball. After lying vacant since 1990, the City of Chicago set a deadline of September 23 for the building to be sold, or it would be ordered demolished. That same day, local developer STAS Development closed on the property with plans to convert the iconic North Side church into residences and a music school.

The Saint Boniface parish has been a staple of the Near North Side in Chicago since 1860. First German and then Polish, the story of the parish and the church it called home is one that is common in Chicago. As one of the first schools in the area, the church was the center of an immigrant community. The four-towered Romanesque design by architect Henry J. Schlacks sits 900 and has a 52-foot-high ceiling.

Now, a collaboration between STAS Development and the Hyde Park–based Chicago Academy of Music will transform the original structure: The 32,000-square-foot church will be converted into 15 residential units, with a music school and 24 more units planned for new construction on the site. While this will completely change the nature of the historic structure, it is still considered a big win by preservationists.

As development continues at breakneck speed on the Near North Side, churches have become popular structures for conversion into housing throughout its neighborhoods. Saint Boniface’s neighborhood of Nobel Square, as well as nearby Wicker Park, Ukrainian Village, Bucktown, and Logan Square, were once filled with German Catholics and Eastern European Catholics building churches literally every few blocks. Only a very small number of these churches remain as active worship spaces. Those lucky enough to be spared the wrecking ball attract developers with their high ceilings, stained-glass windows, and distinctive character. As they are often larger than the typical stacked-flat housing stock in the neighborhoods, they can be used for denser development.

Saint Boniface is an outlier among these converted churches, though. Unlike so many of the others, it is not deeply embedded in the tight streets of its surrounding neighborhood. Instead, it stands out on a major street with its four large bell towers, one of which is 150 feet tall. The church is an icon in its neighborhood, and more recently an icon for the whole city. After the Chicago Cubs’ recent World Series win, Saint Boniface was used as the backdrop for a Nike commercial in which a young Cubs fan plays out his own World Series win in the adjacent park.

Although neighborhoods in Chicago quickly change in demographics and density, Saint Boniface will not be the last of the old churches to be “saved” by development, though it is likely to be one of the largest. While complete plans have not yet been released, one can’t help but wonder if someone will have a condo with an ornately vaulted ceiling or a rose window.

Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava makes steps to ensure its preservation

Located on 15 West 25th Street in Manhattan, the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava was severely damaged by a fire on May 3rd this year. The church is now working with the city and engineers to develop a plan of action for the building. Formerly known as the Trinity Chapel Complex, the English Gothic Revival church was completed in 1855 and designed by British-born American architect Richard Upjohn. In 1942 it was purchased by the Serbian Eastern Orthodox parish. In 1968 the church's stone facade and roof (all of which was lost in the fire) were designated a city landmark. 14 years later, the whole complex—which includes the Cathedral's Parish House and the Clergy House—was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This month, the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) ordered that the South Gable wall on 25th Street be reinforced with metal beams for public safety reasons. Working with engineers and the Landmarks Preservation Committee, the DOB also stipulated “shoring and bracing” and that the wall tops be covered with a waterproof canvas to protect them from the elements. Rumors of arson spread once news broke that three other churches had been subject to fires that Easter. "Too many churches have burned to call it an accident," said former Serbian ambassador Dusan T. Batakovic. "It is very strange that it happened, that the fires all took place on Easter, the greatest Christian Orthodox holiday. Some kind of terrorist action can not be excluded." However, officials said that candles were the most likely cause of the blaze. AN also spoke to FDNY Deputy Chief Michael Gala who recalled the incident. "Upon arrival, fire was already billowing out of the rose window. Due to the amount of combustible material in churches, fires can spread very rapidly," he said. "I think this fire could have resulted from an improperly discarded candle." There were also fears that structural damage would result in the building being torn down. However, Alexander Schnell of the DOB said in June: "We don’t see that it’s impossible to stabilize the structure and preserve what remains while ensuring that public safety is not compromised. The situation—as we see it right now—does not pose a hazard to the public." The church (albeit, its shell) is still standing. As Ann Friedman, director of sacred sites at the New York Landmarks Conservancy points out, churches have a habit of staying put. 235 out of the 255 landmarked religious buildings in the city are currently still used by religious organizations.

As for St. Sava, the church is going through motions of fundraising to ensure its preservation.

Just yesterday, AN spoke to a number of attendees at a fundraising event. Gordon Bijelonic, a Los Angeles-based film producer who grew up in the community, mentioned how the church played a role for refugees arriving in the U.S. "This Church created safe passage for my parents to the U.S.A. from an Austrian refugee camp during the communist era of former Yugoslavia.” He added how it was imperative that the building maintains its landmark status. "This is not so much about religion either, it has become a cultural icon. The church is a pillar of culture for Serbians who come to the U.S.," he said. "We want to rebuild, not move. It's so important that it remains where it is."

Newly appointed to the parish, Very Reverend Dr. Živojin Jakovljević spoke of how much the church welcomed the support they received after the fire. "At the time when our Parish and we, the people of Saint Sava, grieve the loss of a beautiful church, we also feel comforted, because we know we are not alone. We would like to thank all those, who, by their support and solidarity, have given us comfort and hope. Such attitude will not only help us rebuild the church, but also uplift the spirit of many lovely faithful people of our Saint Sava community."

Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture design 72,000-square-foot Church in Glenview, Illinois

Chicago-based Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture may be best known for its supertalls, but even though one of the office’s current constructions, Willow Creek North Shore Church, is quite the opposite, it will still have its congregation looking up.

The 72,000-square-foot project in Glenview, Illinois, just north of Chicago, is one of eight Willow Creek ministries located throughout the greater Chicago area. Currently under construction, completion is scheduled for fall 2016.

“Although we are specialists in the design and technology of super tall towers and complex sustainable master planning, we enjoy designing at all scales and typologies,” Adrian Smith, design partner and founder of AS+GG, told The Architect's Newspaper. “Many of our buildings have smaller components to them, and most of our work is mixed-use, so designing a church, a school, a performing arts venue or a congress hall is all part of what we do.”

The mustard seed, a recurring reference in the Bible, inspired the overall shape. It symbolizes strong faith and fellowship of the congregation. It was also used as a guiding principle in connecting the project to its surroundings. “The goal of the space was to have nature as the backdrop for every room,” Willow Creek North Shore Lead Pastor Steve Gillen said in a press release.

Though the project is well above the ground now, and the final form of the building is becoming clear, the first months of construction were focused on site work. The entire building site was lifted five to eight feet, providing a gentle plateau to support the building. A large retention pond was also created and mimics the shape of the church. A 700-car parking lot was built to accommodate the large congregation.

When completed, the church will include a 1,200-seat auditorium, adult ministry spaces, classrooms, a cafe, and administration offices. Two large oval-shaped courtyards flank the central sanctuary. These plazas flow seamlessly into the interior spaces to provide additional areas for funerals, weddings, and informal events with direct access to the cafe. There are several gathering spaces, including a large sky-lit preassembly area, designed into the project. “The gentle curve of the circulation paths allows occupants to flow through the space, while enjoying views of the outside,” Smith explained.

Many areas of the project are designed specifically to allow for flexible programming. The administrative offices will function as workplaces throughout the week, while providing extra ministry spaces and classrooms on the weekend. The cafe can be used as a more casual meeting and gathering space on weekends as well.

More than simply a place of worship, the Willow Creek North Shore is a project built around a community, for a community. Its generous spaces and ability to transform fill a need for the ever-growing congregation and church administration. And though it does not reach the tall heights of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill’s other buildings, the firm’s signature form and style are undeniable.

Historic St. Paul church for sale comes with interred body

When buying a building that is in a historic preservation district there are many considerations to take into account, including zoning restrictions, restoration, and often, accessibility concerns. In the case of one St. Paul Church, now on the market, add deceased body to the list. Shuttered a year ago, the historic Episcopal St. Paul’s on-the-Hill in St. Paul, Minnesota is up for sale. One caveat to purchase is that the building comes with the body of one of its former priests, which is not allowed to be moved. Located in a national and city historic preservation district, the church cannot be torn down, and the exterior cannot be altered. On the market for $1.69 million, the Gothic-Revival building comes with the pews, organ, a large rose window, 33 other stained glass windows, a saintly statuary, and the body of Priest John Wright. Wright was the priest during the building of the church and was buried in a crawlspace crypt under the sanctuary in 1919. The body cannot be moved because it is considered a “historic non-operating cemetery” according to real estate agent Jay Nord in a video discussing the sale with the Pioneer Press. Founded in the Lowertown neighborhood in 1857, the entire building was dismantled, redesigned and moved to its current location on Summit Avenue in the early nineteen-teens. The church’s designer, the École des Beaux-Arts–trained French immigrant Emmanuel Masqueray, is also the designer of the city’s notable Cathedral of St. Paul and the Basilica of St. Mary. Along with his church designs, Masqueray was also the chief designer of the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. https://vimeo.com/153434141 Though the church comes with some atypical “features”, it has other qualities that the seller hopes will attract a buyer in the coming month. Most notably, the acoustics of the nave are known to be exceptional, making the 6,000 square foot space suitable for a small concert venue. The property also includes 11,000 square feet of office and meeting space in a newer addition. With the building safe from demolition and alteration, preservationists need not worry about its future, yet it will still require a very special buyer who is willing to take on the unique responsibility of owning this building.

Move over, Jesus: skateboarders convert a historic Spanish church into a “temple of urban art”

The Spanish Church of Santa Barbara, designed by Asturian architect Manuel del Busto in 1912, faced severe deterioration from years of abandonment, until Church Brigade skate collective slid in. The collective's transformation, Kaos Temple, is a skate park completely immersed in geometric street art. With support from online fundraising and energy drink maker Red Bull, Church Brigade designed, built, and installed skate ramps inside the church. Church Brigade commissioned Spanish street artist Okuda San Miguel to paint the interior. In one week, San Miguel, with the help of three assistants—Antonyo Marest, Pablo Hatt, and MisterPiro—finished the transformation. Light filters in through stained glass windows, illuminating walls colored with geometric skulls, wildlife, and human faces. “I fell in love with it, even more after finishing it," San Miguel said of the church. "The contrast of my contemporary painting over the amazing classic architecture is incredible.” The street-artist called his completed transformation a "temple of urban art." Thanks to Church Brigade and San Miguel, the Spanish Church of Santa Barbara is, once again, a place of pilgrimage. Watch videos of the transformation here, and visit Okuda San Miguel's website to see his other works.

Digital artist Miguel Chevalier syncs science and spirituality at King’s College Chapel, Cambridge

Paris-based digital projection artist Miguel Chevalier turned the University of Cambridge’s 16th century King’s College Chapel into an intellectual hypnosis chamber during the recent Dear World… Yours, Cambridge charity event. As each speaker presented, Chevalier illustrated their points with projected lights designed specifically to the chapel’s interior. For example, when hearing of Stephen Hawking’s research on black holes, the chapel became a sea of constellations. Professor Hawking told the invited audience, "When I arrived in Cambridge I was lucky. I was lucky to meet the brilliant minds that broadened my horizons. I was lucky to be given the space to think, and I chose to think about space." Chevalier is the first artist invited to make a spectacle in the 500 year old Perpendicular Gothic chapel. And his projections accompanied speeches of  renowned professors and alumni. According to Chevalier, the Cambridge project "imagines a number of different graphic universes, which are generated in real time and use their own ‘digital’ language to illustrate and interpret a wide variety of subjects including academic excellence, health, Africa, biology, neurosciences, physics, and biotechnologies." Previously, Chevalier created displays for the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona and Paris' Grand Palais.

New York City Mayor De Blasio and Cardinal Dolan working on plan for affordable housing on church properties

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio had some face-to-face time with Cardinal Timothy Dolan this week, and among the topics the duo discussed was affordable housing. In a city of nosebleed-inducing housing prices, Dolan said creating and maintaining affordable housing was "God's work," according to AM New York. The city and the archdiocese are working out a plan to use the church's extensive real estate holdings in the city to provide affordable housing and shelters for the homeless. "We still got some meat and potatoes to work out, but I think it's a go," Dolan was quoted in the newspaper. "And if you ask me, I don't have a choice because Jesus told me to do this. I didn't need the mayor to tell me to do this." Dolan added that he and De Blasio report to the same constituency: "namely God's people, the people of this city." "Amen, beautifully said," the mayor replied.

Gallery> University of Chicago and Kliment Halsband Architects breathe new life into an old seminary building

Like many large research universities, the University of Chicago appears to always be building. One mainstay of campus construction is rehabs of existing institutional buildings. At the University of Chicago, that means figuring out what to do with a large stock of neo-Gothic buildings that once served as places of worship. Last year the university revived the 1928 Chicago Theological Seminary on the University’s Hyde Park campus as Saieh Hall, the new home of the Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics and the Department of Economics. Now, New York–based Kliment Halsband Architects has accomplished a similar transformation with the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society at 5701 S. Woodlawn Avenue. Originally the Meadville Theological Center, the 1933 building retains its neogothic facade and a general air of introspection. But the interiors of Neubauer—named for trustee Joseph Neubauer and his wife Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer in honor of their $26.5 million gift to the University—are thoroughly modern, with shared workspaces and studios designed to promote collaboration. Via the architects, take a visual tour of the building courtesy of photographer Tom Rossiter: